‘We encourage students to take a look around,’ says the Executive Board president Victor van der Chijs. ‘But we do want students to choose a Master’s programme in Enschede.’ The UT has a clear goal in mind: at least 70 percent of the Bachelor’s students should stay and follow a Master’s in Enschede. The UT is lagging ‘far behind’ this goal with 62 percent, as is stated in the management report, which also shows a downward trend. The advice: the university needs additional policies.
‘Total numbers are better’
According to Van der Chijs, the UT still achieved its goal, if we look at the total numbers. ‘We have more students than we expected beforehand. However, we still adhere to the goal of 70 percent. Master’s students are maybe our most important target audience. They form our scientific future.’
The chairman explains some of the causes for the outflow of Bachelor’s students. ‘First of all, the number of international students has grown tremendously. These are mostly German students who choose to do a Master’s programme in their home country. Another cause is the introduction of the so-called harde knip in the Netherlands, which means you are not allowed to start with your Master’s unless you’ve finished your Bachelor’s study. This makes it less obvious to stay at the same university, especially if you’ve finished your Bachelor’s in November and can start with your Master’s in February. It gives you a lot of time to take a look around and change plans.’
Actions have to be taken, says Van der Chijs. ‘We want students to consciously choose to study at our university, but we haven’t actively pursued keeping Bachelor’s students here. But we are going to change that. Information activities and open days are partly aimed at this target audience. And we organize a Master’s week to present the Master’s programmes we offer to our Bachelor’s students. Last but not least, we have ambassadors for every Master’s programme. That includes teachers as well as students. These measures are the start for a tailor-made campaign.’